Review: Amon Tobin – Isam

Amon Tobin – Isam

I openly admit to being one of the biggest Amon Tobin homers around – probably one of my five favorite artists of all time.  Whether it be a solo album, a collaboration (Two Fingers), or his sound work – I’m in line for anything he decides to put out.  However, to be honest, this snuck up on me – even with the Choas Theory Remixed LP being out like two months (which I will review and highly recommend soon).  I had no clue this was even coming up until yesterday, when Ninja Tune posted its immediate release on Facebook – one of the reasons I stay on FB…you find out critical information when you least expect it.

For me, this is more of a soundscape set in the future – posthuman times, when machines rule the earth.  There isn’t always “music” involved.  There isn’t always a bassline, or any discernable rhythm.  A lot of the sounds do have these features, but I don’t think he’s banking on any real dancing or club play with his music.  It’s strictly high end headphone material.  If you go to his Youtube channel – he has videos of how he captures and breaks down sounds.  He seems to be squarely interested in technology to harness the dynamics of very regular sounds, and the manipulations of them.  He’s more a sound scientist than artist these days, and the albums are results of his studies.

There isn’t a particular standout for me, because I tend to think of these types of albums as one complete unit, with act/stage interruptions.  I do hope for another drum ‘n bass or a dubstep album from him at some point – but this will do for now.

Grade: B.

And one for those looking for something with a beat – from the recent Chaos Theory Remixed/Splinter Cell 3D LP – which will also be reviewed soon:

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